Monday, March 10, 2014

Bracelets for баба марта (grandmother march day) and Houses built on a hill

Hey everyone, since last week my companion actually told me a lot of details about the Ukraine/Russia crises that is going on. It sounds like to me that Ukraine wants to join the EU but Russia doesn't want that because Ukraine is supported by Russia. They send soldiers and had to relocate missionaries in Ukraine. My companion said he heard from a couple of Bulgarians say that its going to lead to World War 3. It sounds pretty serious, but I have no idea. It always seems like there is a crises but that's part of the last days, which is weird to think about.
For the Book of Mormons giving out, so far we have given out 3 to people that we met and had lessons with. Technically we gave out 4 but we gave one to ... in English, and then when we received one that is in Turkish we gave it to him. He can speak English but doesn't know any of the English big words. It makes lessons go slower because we have to make sure we confirm if he understands and ask him what it meant what we just said. He originally speaks Turkish and is from Turkey.
I am friends with practically the Elders in this area (4 Elders including myself), the people in the ward (7 people if I remember correct) and that's basically it. I'm feeling more confident with the language, but still can't understand anyone. Just really basic things still. When we go tracking (which we have doing a ton of lately) I've been starting to introduce my companion and I and saying we have a message about Jesus Christ, and some other things. Simple, but it's getting better everyday. I can pray decent now in Bulgarian, but still simple and not to complicated. It just makes me think how well the other Elders in my group from the MTC are doing. I don't have there emails, so I've lost contact with them.
This next Friday we have zone training so I think it's in Plovdiv again. We take basically a tour bus to go to any other city, so it's nice to relax a little bit and it takes around 3-4 hours to just get there I think. For the zone training, it's only 2 hours long if I remember correct so we are traveling a lot longer than the actual meeting itself.
I like it here in Bulgaria, it's been raining this whole week and snowing since yesterday. It's warm enough that it hasn't really stuck but it's still continuing. I like snow and rain, as long as I don't have to work in it, which as a missionary it's all that we are doing. I'm good with everything I have and everything is pretty useful. My jacket is perfect by the way.

Oh, and by the way, Happy Mothers day from Bulgaria. It was on MapT or March 6 or 7. When it's mothers day in America, that is when I'll be able to do skype and talk to you and do a video chat I think. I don't know how it works, but when the time comes we'll find out.
How the card works. The church has given me a Debit card that they put on 460 Lev or 314.81 dollars. It's an approximation for the Lev because when I use the card it exchanges it to the actual Lev and has a small exchange fee. I haven't used the money that you send at the MTC or any on my debit card. I've been using the church money and been keeping track of any money I spent for myself because I can't use the church money for personal things. For example, I bought a Bulgarian Dictionary and that is supposed to be my money that I spent. Everything is mostly spent in cash here except for the grocery store because normal stores usually don't accept any type of card, or at least the food places that we grab a bite at.
It's been really annoying with the key indicators, or the numbers. My companion and I have been working like normal but it seems like we aren't having to much success. It's just the numbers are low. It seems ok before but just dropped, I guess some weeks are going to be like that.
I wanted to say how Baptisms work. In Veliko Turnovo, we don't have anywhere to do it. So if we had a baptism it would either 1. Have to be done in the river that is in the city or 2. The church rents out the pool in a hotel and we do it there. It just makes me want to see a baptism here so bad because it's just different. Especially if it's done in the river. ... got baptized in the hotel, a few months before I got here.
My companion was sick and we stayed in for all of last Sunday (can't remember if I told you that already.) Anyway he is a lot better. Elder ... (Another Elder in the companionship here in Veliko Turnovo) has a rash, so that companionship went to Sofia to have it checked so they are doing that all day today. That doesn't sound fun to me.
... has been sick so we haven't been able to meet her for a long time. She is a progressing investigator. If we were able to meet consistently her Baptism would have been last Saturday. We also been meeting with ... She is a less active because she works at a hospital and works 24 hour shifts and Sunday is one of the days she works. She says she doesn't get paid a lot but has to do that job because she doesn't have any other choice, until she can find another. A lot of people stress about jobs and money here and it's hard. That happens everywhere but here it leads to a low morale about Bulgaria. Some people ask if we like Bulgaria. We say we do because it's a new culture and there are some really cool things here, but they say that Bulgaria is good for nothing. My companion said he has never seen such a low moral in any country. My companion has also lived in other countries so he can compare a little.
Also some differences here are 1. Time is mostly in Military time and 2. Dates are Days/Month/ Years so today is 10/3/14. It looks really funny last month when it looks like 24/2/2014. I'm still getting used to that. Just wanted to mention that. 
Here some photos of a Horse Statue that is super awesome and some art work on a side of the house

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